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Portsmouth Dockyard June 2022

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Colin Bishop:
I visited Portsmouth Dockyard yesterday. HMS QE was moored portside to quay so there was an opportunity from the harbour cruise to see the lifts in the down position.

Victory was looking rather sad with just two lower masts standing and surrounded by scaffolding which will be used to cover the ship in stages to allow replacement of rotten timbers. All explained here:

It will be a long time before the ship is restored to her former glory. Last pic was taken in March 2006.



Looking at dear old Victory, maybe optical illusion, but looking at image 5 the hull profile  droop does seem to be quite pronounced now, quite onion shaped . I know this has been worrying the restoration team for some time which is why they built the cradle framework to take weight off the keel. I assume in this restoration they will aim to pull her back into shape.

Colin Bishop:
 Yes, there is some distortion arising from resizing the original image file but you are quite tight, the keel was never designed to support the weight of the ship. Pressure would have been spread all over the hull when she was afloat which is what the new supports are intended to replicate.


Colin Bishop:
Here is something else which you won't see too often, an upside down WW1 Coastal Motor Boat!

No 4 Boathouse at Portsmouth are restoring the original CMB 4 which served in WW1 and on secret operations in the Baltic afterwards where she sank the Bolshevik cruiser Oleg. The vessel is on loan from the Imperial War Museum. The Boathouse is currently constructing a full size replica and the hull is currently upside down while final shaping takes place. This gives the opportunity to admire the sculpted hull form and the 'step' which assisted planing. Not sure what wood they are using but it looked lovely!


Talking many years ago to people who in Pompey who had some knowledge about the old girl(Victory), her lower masts go through her keel into the concrete dock and I believe her keel sits on a concrete block. Remember years ago when the yard was a H m Dkyd, the shipwrights renewed her forward bow frames and sheathing with a Malaysian hardwood, because of the dearth and price of seasoned oak. But she is a old wooden vessel and I expect her frames are starting to alter shape/bend due to the weight on them, as Colin says there is no support for them when she is floating. But there does seem to be a big problem with her as only her lower masts are in place at the moment and has been for a long time. Suspect it could be down to money as the MoD does not foot the bill as she is look after by a charity and there is no MoD skilled Dockyard Matey's to call on.


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